Mexico: A Vibrant Community Center
The Entreamigos community center was founded in 2006 in the heart of San Pancho, Mexico. What started as teaching arts and crafts on a picnic table in a neighborhood front yard has grown into a vibrant center dedicated to education, environmentalism, youth and their families. The home to most of their programming is a 16,000 square foot warehouse; remodeled and designed using almost entirely recycled materials.
In addition to their many community programs, Entreamigos operates both retail and resale shops that support meaningful portions of their operations while providing jobs and skills to local entrepreneurs.
Spark Ventures provides funding and strategic support to Entreamigos’ Women’s Entrepreneur group, which empowers women of the lowest socio-economic level. These women meet regularly and produce products from the recycled goods collected by Entreamigos’ recycling program. Handmade paper beads turn into beautiful jewelry, empty wine bottles become drinking glasses, plastic bottles are reimagined into children’s toys and more! The women in the program participate in a 3 step process of learning, teaching, then building their own businesses. The finished products are then sold in Entreamigos’ gallery. The gallery serves as a stepping stone for women to learn business & accounting skills before they begin selling their goods in the local markets so they can sustain their independent sales. The women are paid for their products and also gain valuable business &life skills.
Spark Ventures also supports the “Jungle Group” – an after school program for children grades 2-6 who are behaviorally and academically challenged, providing diverse educational initiatives, tutoring, mentoring and more.
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